Peter Paul Rubens: Portrait of Marchesa Brigida Spinola-Doria (1606)

(National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., USA)

This magnificent portrait of Brigida Spinola, a young Genoese from the leading  Spinola family. She was 22 years old when this painting was finished and just married her cousin Giacomo Massimiliano Doria in 1605. This painting was commissioned by her husband to commemorate the marriage. Originaly this was a full-lenght portrait with a view into the a landscape at the left so the setting is is outdoors on a terrace. In the 19th century the painting was cut down to its present state. Brigida is shown in a dress of silver satin and lace. Her appearance leaves little doubt that she is a person of wealth and status. The direction of her gaze and the perspective of the architecture indicate that the painting was meant to be hung high — significantly above the viewer. This painting is from 1606.